In agriculture too, AI is preparing for its revolution

Agriculture is one of the most concrete examples of “practical” AI, and could power the first 100% autonomous farms before 2030.

In the rural world, John Derry is one of the most well-known names for his tractors, combines and other ubiquitous agricultural implements in the countryside. The brand is distinguished by the green color recognized among the one thousand, but also by the performance of its machines which have been providing proud service to the operators for over two centuries.

But like all specialist equipment manufacturers, the work of John Deere’s engineers has evolved significantly over the past few decades. Indeed, its products have gone to the stage of “simple” agricultural machinery; Today, they are the real gems of mechanical engineering, but also software, with a special emphasis on artificial intelligence.

Firm is also one of the pioneers of this level. In November 1999, the firm acquired NavCom Technology, a start-up specializing in satellite navigation. Objective: To develop its own satellite guidance system for agricultural machinery. He was able to develop an accurate system within a few centimeters.

A new generation of high-tech agricultural machinery

And if this association seems unreasonable to you, it was a real revelation for John Deere. The idea wasn’t perfect, but it did have an electric shock to the brand’s staff, which immediately made it one of its perfect priorities. In just a few years, it has changed its entire roadmap to begin a major transformation that will take its machines to a whole new level.

A philosophy that has caught the eye of some prestigious actors. So much so that in 2018, JD even partnered with NASA’s legendary Jet Propulsion Laboratory, to which we owe the world’s first GPS system! Together, they have created a system that allows remote control and monitoring of a machine with a live satellite view, all with powerful precision and enhanced by the large amount of data that can be used in real time.

A small revolution that laid the foundation “New age” The technology is based on autonomous machines at the cutting edge. However, it comes from an interview with George Heraud, vice president of automation at John Deere of TheNextWeb. It describes a philosophy based on the automated routine of perfect agricultural services optimized at all levels for artificial intelligence.

Agriculture and AI, a marriage that makes sense

Eventually, these machines will be able to handle almost all tasks without human intervention. This is obviously a huge time saver. This AI-based method allows to determine the ideal date for sowing or harvesting a certain plot with strong accuracy in order to optimize its yield in the long run.

And it’s not just about quantity. There is a qualitative dimension to take into account. The machines are already capable of performing some of these tasks with impressive accuracy, a farmer’s time constraint allows him to achieve with a traditional machine.

They will be able to optimize the yield of each plot by providing a tailor-made treatment They will be able to consider the presence of parasitic or invasive species such as cultivated strain, field location and other external environmental parameters.

Some manufacturers are already working on systems that, with an AI system like face recognition, can selectively and in real time detect and get rid of unwanted plants or insects. An AI of this type would allow these machines to deliver phytosanitary products with surgical precision. This will allow the use of microscopic doses to maximize efficacy while minimizing environmental impact.

And these are just a few isolated examples. This is already a real revolution compared to agriculture decades ago, and everything indicates that this remarkable progress will continue. And that’s good news, because the bets are just high.

The food situation is changing, and the industry needs to keep pace

Everyone is aware of the fact that food resource management is a determining factor for the future of mankind. However, these resources are directly threatened by population growth, human impact on its environment, as well as global warming and its aftermath.

The population is growing visibly; The available space is melting like the snow of the sun; At the same time, due to global warming, the use of previously cultivable land is becoming increasingly unsuitable. So there is an urgent need to optimize production in the smallest detail.

And there is no doubt that machines will be a very important partner in helping farmers in this transformation of the industry, which often does not reward their work at a fair price. So it is no coincidence that dozens of other companies like Ecorobotics, Neo Technologies or Agrobot have already invested in this segment.

A “practical” AI in the service of farmers and humanity

Ultimately, we will see fully autonomous farms prosper, as there are already many in science fiction. And based on the TNW interview, it looks like the future is much closer than we thought. Heraud unequivocally confirms that the future will be 100% automated farm “Will arrive before the end of the decade

However, this interview is a good example of the fact that there is no artificial intelligence. Just wearing a white coat is not a vague and abstract discipline reserved for little talents. It is a great tool that can help mankind to solve some age problems very effectively. We’re not talking about basic research here, but about an aspect we can’t do anymore. “To practice“And the already mature AI that will one day be used to feed humanity, no less.

We just have to wait until 2030 to see if Heraud’s predictions come true. But one thing is for sure, by then we will probably see “its new behemoth.”Practical AI “, And probably in the relatively near future. The future of this discipline certainly promises to be attractive.

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